LETTER TO THE EDITOR—JUNE 1, 2006

Truth about Eminent Domain

Eminent Domain has been around since the days of the Magna Carta.  Cities could not exist without the tools to expand, clean up slums, or build new freeways without the powers of Eminent Domain.

True, and sometimes unfortunately, common sense leaves and greed takes over the minds of some city fathers.  The private-top public theory goes out the window when there is a buck to be made and property is sold to a developer (private-to-private) for his own interest.

Then there is the natural instinct of “I don’t want government to tell me what to do with my property.” It is not like government is stealing your property, you do get the “fair market” value in return.

A new initiative that is gathering signatures, known as the “Protect Our Homes Act” or SA2005RF0146, is a poorly written and misleading example of GREED in its highest form.

There is language within it that attacks every Rent Stabilization Ordinance in the State of California by stating “there shall be no ordinance, rule, or otherwise any language that results in a “taking of private property.”

A TAKING is MONEY, $$$/RENT in the eyes of a Mobilehome Park Owner for example,  the land that he only rents to the Resident Home Owner, a home that he (park owner) has no vested interest in, only the dirt the home sits upon.        A good example of greed is seen in the CBS expose of Mr. Sam Zell, billionaire, who recently attacked the City of Santa Cruz ordinance as a “taking” and raised the rents on his beach front mobilehome park from $500 to $5,000 a month.

Manufactured/Mobilehomes are owned mostly by the elderly, retired, those living on fixed incomes, and low income families.  Where and when will greed end?  Never.

Bob Fleak, Assistant GSMOL Manager, Rohnert Park